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 Wings GM Ken Holland:On playing outdoors, signing Hossa... 
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Wings GM Ken Holland: On playing outdoors, signing Hossa and future challenges

Transcribed by Anthony Fenech, Free Press special writer. • July 28, 2008

Ken Holland on WDFN Radiothon

On what he recently did with the Stanley Cup:

“I had a golf tournament this weekend in my hometown (Vernon, British Columbia) and we had it at the golf tournament on Saturday night and about 60 of us enjoyed the Cup until later hours and then Sunday I had a quiet day with my family in my backyard by the lake. My Mom had a backyard party for a lot of people from around Vernon, where we grew up, and then we put it on display Monday morning from 9:00 to noon and took pictures with fans who wanted to come see it and make a donation to minor hockey. Then Monday afternoon I turned it over to our western scout Bruce Harrelson and then (Chris) Osgood had it Monday night and all day Tuesday and right now it’s en route to Sweden because Tomas Holmstrom has it starting Thursday night.”

On the New Year’s Day outdoor game against the Blackhawks at Wrigley Field:

”The league approached us and we could have opted out. I talked to Jimmy Devellano, Mike Babcock, Nicklas Lidstrom, Steve Yzerman and obviously Mr. and Mrs. Illitch. We just felt that we’re going to help promote the game of hockey and we’re going to promote the Red Wing brand. It’s a unique experience for our organization and our players and you don’t know if you’re ever going to get an opportunity to do it again. We just felt that there were too many positives. Obviously, we’re not going to play at home on New Year’s Eve. The league did give us the option of playing at home on December 31st in the afternoon but in the end we said we preferred to play at home on the 30th and have an outdoor practice at Wrigley Field on the 31st. We play Chicago at home and then in Chicago on January 1st. We just think it’s going to be three days of tremendous exposure for our team, our sport and our league.”

On the possibility of hosting an outdoor game in the future:

“We’ve talked a little bit internally, but obviously internally we have to be 100% committed and then we would approach the league. I think if we can get our ducks in order and everybody on board, it’s something that we think we really want to do. I’d like to think that we’d have a good chance to host a game because I think we’ve done our part whenever we can to try and help the league out. I’m sure if it’s something we really think is beneficial and something that we can pull off, I’d like to think we’d have an opportunity to do it. But right now, that’s a ways away.”

On the signing of Marian Hossa and how others have complained:

”First off, I would say that when I got the news I was in my office with Jim Nill and Steve Yzerman and we were all in a little bit of a daze. We try to convince people to come to Detroit for other reasons than money. Obviously money is a factor but you’d like for them to take a little bit less to come in because you’re trying to put a good team on the ice and we want everyone to do their part, but this was a little bit more than we could even sell. Marian obviously made a decision that he wanted to be a Red Wing. Once we get him here, hopefully we can find a way to keep everybody here and keep everybody happy and we’re hoping that we’re going to have good chemistry. I’d like to think that this really has been 10 years of sacrifice by the Steve Yzermans and (Brendan) Shanahans and the (Igor) Larionovs and Chris Chelios’ and the Kris Drapers. This really has been a bit of a reward, because anytime somebody walks away from $50, $60 or $70 million – I don’t know exactly what the number is – he thinks he’s coming here because we’re giving him the best chance to compete and get his name on the Stanley Cup. We’re thrilled and hopefully it’s long-term, but with the new C.B.A. (Collective Bargaining Agreement), you get your core, and we really feel that we’ve got our core, sometimes you’re going to have people come in for a year and they come and they leave. That’s the nature of the C.B.A.”

On his next task of re-signing Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen:

“Well we usually find a way to keep our guys. I don’t anticipate a problem. My management and my negotiating style is that I really like to get it started near training camp. I want to talk to the agent and I like to sit down and make sure that the player hears from me and what I’m trying to get them and my reasons for what we’re offering because usually what we’re offering is a little bit below what they can get on the open market. But I also think that goes on around the league as well. Not every player can get his market value from the home team. Every player is going to have to make decisions and so I don’t anticipate any problems but certainly Zetterberg is priority No. 1 and Franzen is going to be priority No. 2 heading into this upcoming season.”

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Detroit vs. Everybody
Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right....

July 28th, 2008, 11:10 am
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